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Water Supply & Conservation

The following water restrictions have been adopted by both Aquarion Water Company and the Town of Greenwich. Water restrictions are on all outdoor irrigation by automatic irrigation systems and sprinkler type equipment limiting watering to 2-day per week. See chart below.  

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Irrigation variances

Aquarion Variance Programs: Thank you for inquiring about the Aquarion Variance Program and conserving water. The variance programs are closed for the 2017 season and will reopen for applications on April 1, 2018.

Irrigation variances may be granted for the following conditions:

1.      New Construction and/or Re-landscaping - sites with new vegetative cover and the twice per week water irrigation restriction may not be adequate to support the newly planted plantings/lawn.  No variances will be issued during July and August (*see exceptions below). 

2.      Large Irrigation Systems – this is for very large properties where the system cannot water the entire property within the two-day per week program.

 

Variance Procedures

1.      For Properties Serviced by Aquarion Water Company

Applications for variances for properties serviced by the Aquarion Water Company
should go to their website at
 Aquarion Variance Request

*
During the summer months (July and August) Aquarion will not accept variance requests unless it is determined by Town of Greenwich staff that it is necessary.  Establishing a new vegetative cover is not recommended during this time due to the high rate of evaporation and sparse precipitation.  Exceptions are limited to new construction sites, where soil stabilization is needed to protect water resources and where this is needed to complete a CO.  These exceptions do not apply to landscaping or lawn replacement not associated with a building permit.  Contact Conservation staff at conservation@greenwichct.org for ALL variances during this time.

2.      For Properties Serviced by Private Wells

Application for variances for properties serviced by private wells should be made to the Greenwich Conservation Commission at
conservation@greenwichct.org or by calling the Conservation office at 203-622-6461.  Aleksandra Moch and Sarah Nahabedian are the staff contacts for all variances.  The information for variance required by the Conservation Commission Staff includes:

Name of property owner:                                                                       

Address of property to be seeded:                                                          

Extent of seeded lawn/planted area:                                                       

Email:                                                                                                     

Phone:                                           Fax:                                                   

 

Authorized agent:                                                

Email:                                                                  

Phone:                                                                  


Water Conservation: The Path to Resiliency

A 3-year drought that has plagued southwestern CT came to the forefront in Fall 2016l when the Town Board of Selected put on a mandatory outdoor water ban and called for a 20% reduction in indoor water use in Greenwich.  This action followed on the heels of the CT Dept. of Public Health issuing a Water Supply Emergency Order to Aquarion Water Company, which covered Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and New Canaan.  This order not only banned outdoor water use but allowed for a temporary increase in the transfer of water through the southwest regional pipeline resulting in decrease in demand with an increase in available water to the region.  Understanding the direct connection between surface and groundwater supplies, Greenwich made sure that private wells were also protected by extending the ban to all properties. 

Spring 2017 rainfall events have been a big help in recovering from the water supply emergency.   Reservoir levels in Greenwich are now full.  This is great news.  But we need to put this in perspective.  In 2016, the reservoirs were full and spilling in February but by July, we were seeing drastic drops in stream base flow.  This is nothing new.  In 2007, many will recall that that there was major flooding on the Byram River and elsewhere in southwest CT in both March and April.  By the end of summer, the Town was asking residents to restrict water usage.  It is the reason that Town, state and water company officials kept an irrigation ban in place earlier this spring.  Records show that we are still below average rainfall and this remains a concern for the long term.  Additionally, water demand goes from an average of 10 mgd in the winter to well over 20 mgd in summer.  During a hot, dry spell, this can reach 32 mgd, mostly for lawn irrigation.  This is just not sustainable, as a community we must do better.

The Greenwich Conservation Commission, in coordination with State and water company officials, has developed a long-term strategy to put us on the path to resiliency.   This strategy includes institutionalizing water conservation.  Similar to recycling, we need residents to practice good water conservation every day, not just during a drought.  We have little control over rainfall but we do have control over demand.  If we all practice water conservation every day, this will smooth out the water demand curve and avoid emergencies, even during a drought.   The new water conservation strategy will include restrictions that limit irrigation to 2-days per week, and will also have a strong education and outreach component.

A key component of practicing water conservation everyday will the establishment of permanent restrictions on outdoor water irrigation.  As of May 1, 2017, both Aquarion and the Town have instituted new 2-day per week restrictions.  In our region, lawns do not need to be watered more than once or twice per week and they do not need to be watered before May 1st or after October 1st.  Indeed, a deep watering once a week will promote deep roots and stronger, healthier lawns.  Watering every day encourages shallow roots and unhealthy plants that are less resilient during the hot summer months.  See above for 2-day per week water restrictions. 

To assist residents with this transition to a 2-day per week system and improve the overall health of their yards and landscape, the Conservation Commission will be holding a series of workshops for both homeowners and landscape contractors.  Last year, the Commission began its leaf recycling program that focused on improving soil health in their lawns. This results in lawns that are healthier, need less water and nutrients, and are more resistant to insects and disease.   In addition, the Commission is providing free compost bins to residents, who have excess leaves and want learn how to compost on their property. Click here for leaf recycling in Greenwich

For more information on Greenwich’s water supply, please send inquires to Conservation@greenwichct.org.  Or visit our website at http://www.greenwichct.org/


Current Water Restriction Documents:  

                                                         

Information on the Water Supply & Conservation can be found below:  

                    water-efficient-landscaping-icon.jpg                                                uconn-icon.jpg

 Click here for more info on Water-Smart Landscaping            Click here for UConn Water Conservation information

                                      

For Update on Aquarion: 
Aquarion Emergency Water Supply Update

For Update on CT Water Status:

State of Connecticut Water Status



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Town of Greenwich Water Supply Team Contacts:
Denise Savageau, Conservation Director – 622-6461 – lead contact
Peter Tesei, First Selectman – 622-7710
Caroline Baisley, Director of Health – 622-7836
Daniel Warzoha, Emergency Management Director – 622-2222
Peter Siecienski, Fire Chief – 622-3951    



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